Their issues are predominantly liberal and their constituency strongly leans Democratic, but a leading secularist group hopes a high-rolling Republican lobbyist is just who they need to open doors on Capitol Hill.

The Secular Coalition for America on Thursday (May 3) hired Edwina Rogers, who has worked for two Republican presidents and four Republican senators, as its new executive director. The SCA has 11 member groups — many of them officially at odds with Republican politicians and policies — including American Atheists and the American Humanist Association.

The choice of a leader with strong ties to Republicans was a deliberate one, said SCA spokeswoman Lauren Anderson Youngblood.

“She can reach out to segments of the population that may be receptive to our message but maybe never heard of us before or maybe associated us with one particular political party,” Youngblood said. “She can help this organization grow beyond its traditional reach.”

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